Judgement of Kingston 2018

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County Wines Score Top Marks Again!

At the 3rd annual Judgement of Kingston wine tasting event, organized by The Royal Winers with the assistance of Tourism Kingston, locally-made wines excelled in comparison to some great wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan valley. An independent panel of judges (Dr. François Bélisle, Nadia Fournier, Geoff Heinricks, and Margaret Swaine) scored the 2016 Rosehall Run “JCR” Chardonnay as the top wine in this blind tasting event with the 2014 Keint-He “Greer Road” Chardonnay coming second and British Columbia’s CheckMate Artisanal Winery’s 2014 “Little Pawn” Chardonnay taking third. And the tasting public concurred with the judges’ choices, except for placing Closson Chase’s 2016 “Churchside” Chardonnay in third place - meaning County wines took Silver and Gold and almost got the Bronze!

As part of Judgement of Kingston event a "silent auction" of wine, luxury gifts and wine-related items was held. Proceeds raised are donated to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario through the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.

Commenting, one of the event’s organizers, Simon Chapelle, said: "County wines are consistently demonstrating just how good they are compared with some very fine wines from other great wine-makers and regions around the world. We’re very pleased at how successful this annual event has become, especially as that makes it possible for us to donate even more to a local good cause, the Cancer Centre. We’re very grateful to all of our supporters, guests and judges for making this such a wonderful autumn event.”

Next year’s Judgement (2 November 2019) will present some of the best pinot noirs from The County being tasted against some of New Zealand’s finest.


$6,000 from the 2018 event has been donated to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.

2018 Tasting Notes

Click here for the 2018 Tasting Notes

2018 Silent Auction Notes

Click here for the 2018 Silent Auction Notes

Our 2018 Master of Ceremonies

Sandor Johnson is the founder and owner of Potter Settlement Artisan Winery, located just north of Tweed, Ontario. Potter Settlement Artisan Winery wines have received accolades from Wine Align, The National Wine Awards of Canada, Intervin International Wine Awards, and the International Cold Climate Wine Awards. Sandor has worked for CNN, poured his wines for Barrack Obama and Justin Trudeau, and is also an internationally known fashion model appearing in TV commercials for L’Oréal with Beyoncé Knowles and playing the role of Chance Heaton on the ABC daytime soap, All My Children.

Our 2018 Experts

François, (Dr. François Bélisle) is certified by the Wine Judges of Canada and has participated in wine-tasting competitions for more than 20 years, including the All Canadian Wine Championships and the Selections Mondiales des Vins. He founded the Canadian and Latin American Wine Society (CLAWS) one of the National Capital Region’s most active wine-tasting groups.

Nadia Fournier. Since 2001 Nadia Fournier has been the sole author of Le Guide du Vin, an institution in the realm of Canadian wine guides since 1981. She is also a partner of Chacun Son Vin and a contributor to L’actualité and Exquis magazines.

Geoff Heinricks. Winegrower and writer, Geoff Heinricks settled his family in Prince Edward County in 1995 to grow pinot noir. He wrote technical publications on winegrowing for The County and his memoir A Fool and Forty Acres (McClelland & Stewart) is still in print. Anonymously described as "the éminence grise behind the establishment of the County wine industry," he now raises heritage ducks and is replanting his vineyard in Hillier.

Margaret Swaine has spent over two decades as a wine and drink columnist for both Toronto Life and Chatelaine magazines while also writing about wine and spirits for The National Post and in a column at Wine Align (www.winealign.com)

Our Folks

Kim (Dr. Kim Meathrel M.D.) is a local surgeon, a graduate of the University of California Davis winemakers program, Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, and owner of Decantress Wine and Spirits Education.

Chris Whyman (Kingston Town Crier) has held his position since 1984 and is a three-time winner of the Town Crier World Championships.